The Keys Of Time (Bible Chronology)

Chapter 1: The Value of Bible Chronology

*“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God ...and is profitable to thoroughly furnish a man for good works” (2Timothy 3:16). This includes God’s revelation of TIME, the numbers, feasts and times and seasons given reveal much about how God works in time. 

*The theme of the Bible is God’s Plan of Redemption. God’s progressive revelation of Himself and His plan of salvation unfolds as history marches on. Chronology is the Backbone of History. History cannot be fully appreciated until it is set in the correct time framework.Therefore understanding the timing of God will increase your appreciation of God’s Plan and make you knowledge exact. 

*As a revelation of redemption we should expect the Bible’s information on Time to be perfect, accurate and complete. Remember also that numbers are used by God and man to measure and describe exact quantities. We proceed on the assumption that the Bible information is literally accurate to the degree of accuracy stated and that God’s revelation is complete, so that any gaps can be discerned by principles and patterns revealed elsewhere in the Word, for God is always consistent. Then the resulting Chronology should demonstrate the truth of our assumptions and the glory of God. 

* “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of Kings is to search our a matter.” Proverbs 25:2. The Word is written in such a way that you cannot grasp it with your mind alone. He does not hide it from us but for us! As a spiritual revelation it not just about number crunching. On the surface there is not enough information given, but if the right spiritual principles are discerned it is possible to use them to put together a complete Bible Chronology. God delights in us searching out His Word. “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” Psalms 111:2. We have detective work to do, to search out the clues and put it all together to create a full picture of Time. Some things are on the surface and other things more hidden. We stand on the shoulders of a number of men of God who have searched out these things and at the close of the age God is bringing the revelation of the Bible’s perfect chronology to its completion. 
 
*Bible Chronology reveals His Sovereignty and Glory. It reveals Him as the Eternal One outside time. To Him all is NOW. He knows the end form the beginning. 
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:1–2. He is the Alpha and Omega.

When God created, He not only created space, matter but also all time! 
“Through faith we understand that the worlds (AGES) were framed by the word of God.” -Hebrews 11:3. So as the physical universe carries God’s order and structure, so the whole course of time shows God’s design. He created the ages according to a pattern. Within this time frame He brings forth His great plan of redemption. We shall see the glory of His masterplan and His sovereignty over history - this gives us great assurance in a troubled world that God is in charge.

We shall discover God’s Sovereignty over history. No one can resist his Sovereign decrees and appointments concerning the times and the seasons. “He has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation” Acts 17:26. God has appointed times and keeps His appointments! God carries forward His plan of REDEMPTION and KINGDOM according to a timetable.

FIXED TIMES: “But now commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” Acts 17:30, 31. It is already marked in His calendar! “For at the time appointed the end shall be.” Daniel 8:19,11:27, 29–31.

“until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which in his times (at the PROPER TIME) He shall show (bring about)”  (1Timothy 6:14, 15).

“Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all, but is under tutors and governors UNTIL THE TIME APPOINTED OF THE FATHER, even so we, when we were children were in bondage under the elements of the world, but when the FULLNESS OF THE TIME WAS COME God sent forth His Son … to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons” Galatians 4:2–5

“with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. who verily was FOREORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION of the WORLD, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1Peter 1:19,20).

“In the hope of eternal life which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began, but has in DUE (PROPER) TIME manifested”Titus 1:2,3a 

“Lord is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). 
In Acts 1:7 “the times and the seasons are fixed by the Father in His own authority.”

This Age is often compared to SEED-TIME and HARVEST: 
“Be patient therefore brethren unto the Coming of the Lord. Behold the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and hath long patience for it until he receive the early and latter rain” (James 4:7). 
Jesus said: “the harvest is the end (closing period) of the world (age).” Matthew 13:39. 

We live in the period of time just preceding the end of the age (Tribulation) when the harvest of the earth is made ready for the time of reaping which starts when the Lord returns in the Rapture.

“Let us now fear the Lord our God that gives rain, both the former and the latter rain, in his season: He keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.” Jeremiah 5:24. God faithfully keeps His appointments in His annual harvest programme (related to the Feasts), a Type of Redemption history. The Feasts were at set (appointed) times and were prophetic rehearsals for salvation events. He is fulfiling the Feasts according to His timetable revealed in the Jewish agricultural year, so the Feasts are a major key to Bible Chronology. 

For the Jew the most important appointed Feast is the weekly SABBATH which releals our first key of time.

*God has total foreknowledge, which means He knows the end from the beginning and in his Sovereignty He decrees certain things to take place at certain times. So his plan proceeds as He wills and none can stop or hinder it. “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my Pleasure” Isaiah 46:9,10.  Through prophetic fulfillment at the appointed times God reveals His sovereignty over time.

*Bible Chronology enables us to understand the time we live in, so that we can act wisely according to God's plans and purposes: “the sons of Issachar had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do” 1Chronicles 12:32. 
It reveals that we are living very close to the end of the Age and this will in turn affect how we live.

*Many make unfounded guesses about times and seasons but you must understand history (the former things) before you can understand prophecy (the latter end, the things to come): “Let them bring them forth and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them and know the latter end of them, or declare us things for to come” - Isaiah 41:22. Everything in the flow of history is connected by one great plan of God. You cannot understand the future without understanding the past. We must discover how God reckons time, and find the dates of the past before we can accurately understand how God will work in the future. We must have our thoughts on time based on His historic revelation before we can be prophetic. The Spirit will “show us things to come” but the Spirit and the Word must agree. 

*As in all other areas, a foundation in the Word is essential to move in the Spirit. As you understand from scripture how God works with time, so you will be trained sensitive to God’s timing in your own life and ministry, and it will be trained to move with God at the right time. People are often weak spiritually in the area of time. They hear from God but do not understand the timing, hence they get in the flesh (like Moses and Abraham). Each step of God’s plan in your life there is a timing (Ephesians 2:10). Develop your sensitivity to it to avoid going into the flesh and establishing our own plan and timing to achieve God’s purpose. As we implement the plan step by step so God reveals more about the timing of the next step. God will not show us everything in advance, but always enough, if we listen, that we can cooperate and flow with Him as He works to bring forth fruit in our life.  Often we will be able to look back and see how precisely God has led us to do certain things at exactly the right time.  He has a perfect sense of timing and if we follow Him, it will show in our lives.  So we must seek God for His Plan and for His Timing.  If we are not obedient to Him, it will result in failure in our lives. As we meditate in His Word and pray, then His Plan will come crystal clear to our spirits, and we will know His Plan with its Timing, and our success will be guaranteed as we walk in it!

 *Know ‘the times and seasons’ in your life - CHRONOS (longer periods of stability) and the KAIROS  (transitional times, life changing turning points, crises, Divine Appointments, Judgements that move you into a new phase or CHRONOS). You need to discern these CHRONOS and KAIROS so that you can move with God accurately. 

*Only through having a correct chronology of Bible History can you gain an accurate understanding of it.  Then you will be able to perceive the flow of history and understand why things happened when they did.   This is why so much of the Bible is chronology – it’s an essential part of God’s record of Redemption history. 
If the Bible is a complete record and revelation of Redemption it must contain an exact chronology. God writes good history which must include an accurate, complete and consistent (harmonious) chronology, by which we can date the past. 

Our project is to take all the pieces of information in the Bible by faith believing they will all fit together to produce a perfect, harmonious picture. This data includes dates, time-periods, feasts and many other kinds of chronological information.

It is like building a house. Coming to scripture is like coming to a building site. All the materials are there on the ground but they have to be put together correctly to form the building. First we must discover the structure of the house (the blueprint), the framework of time and the basic principles of how God counts time. Then we will put the bricks into their right position. If we don’t do this the result will be a mess. With the right structure everything else will fit harmoniously into place and we will know its truth. If we end up with a harmonious and complete picture of Time, in which every piece fits perfectly with the rest, then we have proof that the Bible is indeed God’s perfect Word.

*This process is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When we finish it and all the pieces fit together perfectly to form a complete picture, then we know there is One who has designed it. Our confidence that it had a creator is justified. As with a jigsaw -we must put up the framework first then we can see how all the pieces fit into place.

Since God is Sovereign and reveals His Salvation and Kingdom according to a preordained plan and timetable, the first step to unlocking the Bible Chronology is to understand God’s Overall Time Structure as revealed in His Word. 

In the next Chapter we will do this and in due course we will be able to date the whole Bible to the nearest year. In a follow up Book we will show how we can date the Bible to the nearest day and sometimes even to the hour. 

*Summary. We have seen that God works in history and in our lives according to a Plan with exact TIMING. Understanding Bible Chronology will give us a deeper knowledge of God’s glory - His Sovereign Grace as He unfolds His Plan of Redemption in time and on time. It gives us an accurate understanding of Bible history and prophecy, and of the time we live in. Studying God’s revelation of TIME develops our ability to understand and obey God in the times and seasons of our life.

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